Salk scientist garners grant to study how astrocytes impact neural behavior

Axel Nimmerjahn, Ph.D.

The Whitehall Foundation (Palm Beach, FL) awarded a highly selective grant to Axel Nimmerjahn, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, CA) and holder of the Richard Allan Barry Developmental Chair in Biophotonics. Nimmerjahn will receive $223,000 over three years to study the contribution of astrocytes to normal brain function, which are involved in regulating neural circuit development and function.

The grant will help support research to determine whether and how astrocytes in awake animals regulate neural dynamics and perhaps behavior, says Nimmerjahn. Resolving this question will help decipher the complex cellular processes underlying normal brain function and behavior, he says.

A better understanding of astrocytes' role in the brain could lead to the development of new treatments for neurological disorders, many of which may result from, or are exacerbated by, defective or disordered glial function such as epilepsy or migraine. "Revising our understanding of glial cell function will change our approach to treating or even preventing disease," says Nimmerjahn.

Nimmerjahn has created and continues to develop tools that allow researchers to directly visualize and manipulate glia in the intact healthy and diseased brain. This has led to key insights in glial cell biology, with broad implications for our view of brain function, which may eventually lead to novel treatments for neurodegenerative brain disease.

Salk Institute president William R. Brody notes that Nimmerjahn's research will have a profound impact on advancing knowledge in developmental neurobiology and bring to life new treatments for neurodegenerative brain diseases.

-----

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, and join our group on LinkedIn

Follow OptoIQ on your iPhone; download the free app here.

Subscribe now to BioOptics World magazine; it's free!

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside a Ramsey, MN, 10-year-old youth's brain.

Low-level laser therapy could speed muscle recovery at Rio 2016 Olympics

The gold medal-winning women’s U.S. Gymnastics team is reportedly experimenting with infrared light therapy to alleviate pain and reduce swelling in its athletes. (Update: A spokesperson for ...
BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World